The practice of illegally issuing Letters of Understanding (LoUs) and Foreign Letter of Credits (FLCs) and then rolling them over to favour Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups started in 2008 and continued till these were discovered in January this year, according to CBI officials.
The illicit activities resulting in fraud of Rs 11,300 crore occurred under the nose of top Punjab National Bank officials but they claimed to be unaware of the scam.
The revelation came to the fore during questioning by CBI officials of Rajesh Jindal, who was holding the charge of Mumbai-based PNB's Brady House Branch Head between August 2009 and May 2011, Gokul Nath Shetty, a retired Deputy Manager from the same branch who retired in May 2017, Bechu B. Tiwari (Chief Manager, in charge of Forex Department), Yashwant Joshi (Scale II manager of Forex Department) and Prafful Sawant (Scale I officer, export).
The officials questions said they merely continued with the practice which is said to have started in 2008. It was not immediately clear who was in charge of the Forex Department when the illegal practice began.